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Pete Buttigieg clarifies views on the Obama administration after criticism for a viral misquote

Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend, Indiana, mayor, and 2020 presidential candidate, sought to clarify his views on the administration of former President Barack Obama Monday after facing criticism for a since-corrected report in which he appeared to refer to the “failures” of that administration.

On Twitter, Buttigieg said that his “appreciation of the great leadership of Barack Obama comes from a very personal place.”

The original article, published by the Los Angeles Times over the weekend, included a Buttigieg quote that seemed to blame Obama for the election of President Donald Trump.

It was corrected on Monday with the accurate quote: “…I think the failures of the old normal help explain how we got Trump.”

Pete Buttigieg rises in Iowa

On Twitter, the reporter who wrote the article said the mistake happened because the comment by Buttigieg happened with a noisy background, causing the reporter to mishear the recording while transcribing at a rally.

“I deeply regret the mistake When we make errors we own them. This one really hurts because it went viral,” journalist Evan Halper said.

Buttigieg said he appreciates the reporter’s “swift and honest correction.”

The misquote was shared widely on social media and was picked up by multiple media outlets because of its newsworthiness; most 2020 Democratic candidates have taken to praising Obama.

Rep. Peter King will not seek 2020 re-election

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., announced Nov. 11, 2019, he will not seek reelection in 2020. The 14-term Republican congressman said in a Facebook post that his commute was a main factor in his decision, saying he wants “flexibility to spend more time” with his children and grandchildren.

Seen here, King arrives for a classified members-only briefing on Iran on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 21, 2019. Patrick Semansky, AP.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., right, listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable on immigration policy at Morrelly Homeland Security Center in Bethpage, N.Y on May 23, 2018, Evan Vucci, AP.

Rep. Peter King will not seek 2020 re-election

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Congressman Peter King march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City on March 17, 2018.

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) speaks during The House Intelligence Committee public hearing on the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election on March 20, 2017.

R-Wisconsin, for a ceremonial swearing-in and photo-op during the opening session of the 115th Congress, Jan. 3, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Medicare Part B premium 2020: Rates and deductibles rising 7% for outpatient care

Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles for outpatient care will increase in 2020.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced the new 2020 rates Friday. For about 70% of Medicare beneficiaries, the premiums will rise nearly 7% to $144.60 a month, up from $135.50 in 2019.

The $9.10 monthly increase follows a smaller $1.50 rise this year. Upper-income retirees pay higher premiums and those rates also are going up.

The annual deductible for Part B coverage, which covers doctor visits and outpatient care, also will go up by 7% to $198 in 2020, an increase of $13 from the annual deductible of $185 in 2019.

Medicare Part B premium

The announcement comes nearly a month after the Social Security Administration set a modest 1.6% cost-of-living adjustment to benefits in 2020, which works out to approximately $24 a month for the average retired worker.

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“People who are really counting on that Social Security (raise) will lose some of that to this Medicare increase,” said Fred Riccardi, president of the Medicare Rights Center, a group that advocates on health care issues.

“For people who live with little to no savings, any increase in Medicare premiums or drug costs is going to be a struggle.”

For 2019, Social Security recipients – which include retirees, the disabled and young survivors of deceased retirees – received a 2.8% cost-of-living adjustment, or an average $40.90 extra each month, the most since 2012.

The government typically deducts Medicare Part B premiums from a beneficiary’s Social Security check.

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Bernie Sanders laughs at idea of Jeff Bezos floating Michael Bloomberg’s presidential run

CORALVILLE, Iowa — When U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders learned Saturday that Amazon owner Jeff Bezos reportedly asked fellow billionaire Michael Bloomberg about running for president, Sanders couldn’t contain his laughter to speak.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was in Iowa campaigning for Sanders, jumped in while Sanders composed himself.

“Of course!” she said in an interview with the Des Moines Register. “They’ve got class solidarity. The billionaires are looking out for each other. They’re willing to transcend differences and backgrounds and even politics.

“The fact that Bill Gates seems more willing to vote for Donald Trump than anyone else tells you everything you need to know about how far they’re willing to go to protect their excess, at the cost to everyday Americans.”

Sanders jumped in to joke that the two billionaires make for their own “strong grassroots movement.”

“Jeff Bezos, worth $150 billion, supporting Mike Bloomberg, whose worth only $50 billion, that’s real class solidarity,

Sanders said with a chuckle.

“I’m impressed by that grassroots movement.

We, on the other hand, have had over a million people contribute to our campaign, in millions of individual contributions averaging $16 a piece.

That’s what we get from working-class people. So a little bit different approach to politics.”

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Who are the 15 witnesses in the Trump impeachment inquiry

WASHINGTON – More than a dozen witnesses have been called before a trio of House committees and questioned for hours about President Donald Trump and Ukraine.

The witnesses include diplomats and White House officials with knowledge of Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

Each has provided new details as part of the quickly moving impeachment inquiry examining whether Trump abused his power as president in asking Ukraine to investigate political foes while dangling military aid for the country and a White House meeting. Their testimonies combined span about 100 hours.

Trump impeachment inquiry

Several of these witnesses will appear next week when the first public impeachment hearings take place.

Here are the 15 witnesses who have been interviewed by the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, why they matter in the impeachment saga and what we know about their testimony.

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Trump to attend Alabama-LSU game during Louisiana election. How he, other presidents, use sports for politics

WASHINGTON – A prominent politician shows up at a major sports event. Many in the crowd hoot and boo, some delivering shouted insults about his character. The politician just smiles and waves to the fans who are cheering.

That’s right: Bill Clinton at the Southern 500 stock car race in 1992.

And Donald Trump at the World Series just two weeks ago, not to mention a long line of other presidents who have mixed politics and sports.

Clinton, then a presidential candidate, laughed off the bombast he encountered that day at the track in Darlington, S.C., reminding reporters of his days as Arkansas governor: “I was booed at an Arkansas football game after I won two-thirds of the state.”

Trump to attend Alabama-LSU game during Louisiana election. How he, other presidents, use sports for politics

Trump’s response to his rough treatment at the baseball park: More sporting events.

After an appearance last weekend at an Ultimate Fighting Championship bout in New York City, where he heard cheers as well as scattered boos, Trump heads Saturday to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for a big-time college football game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers.

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Mick Mulvaney asks to join lawsuit on congressional subpoena enforcement in Trump impeachment probe

WASHINGTON – In a Friday evening court filing, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney asked to join a lawsuit aiming to force federal courts to decide on whether White House officials have to testify in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

Mulvaney, who witnesses have placed at the center of the Ukraine controversy, had been scheduled to testify in the impeachment inquiry on Friday morning, and was subpoenaed on Thursday, but defied the subpoena. His lawyer cited “absolute immunity” from testifying, a protection Democratic lawmakers have dismissed.

Kupperman defied a House subpoena on Monday while awaiting the decision because he worried any decision he makes “will inflict grave Constitutional injury on either the House or the President,” as stated in the lawsuit.

Mick Mulvaney

The lawsuit, had originally been filed on Oct. 25 by Charles Kupperman, a deputy to former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Kupperman’s 17-page filing says that if he defies Trump, he could hurt the president’s ability to receive confidential advice from top aides. Trump, who called the inquiry a partisan “witch hunt,” vowed to fight all subpoenas.

Impeachment: House and White House agree that neither wants a federal judge to decide whether a witness must testify.

Kupperman ended up defying a House subpoena in October while awaiting the decision because he worried any decision he makes “will inflict grave Constitutional injury on either the House or the President,” as stated in the lawsuit.

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The final chapter: Judge’s ruling that Donald Trump must pay $2 million to charities ends troubled foundation’s saga

A New York judge’s ruling that President Donald Trump must pay $2 million to charity appears to close the books on the troubled Trump Foundation.

WASHINGTON – A New York judge’s ruling that President Donald Trump must pay $2 million to charity appears to be the final chapter in the saga of Trump’s troubled charitable foundation.

State Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla of Manhattan ruled on Thursday that Trump pay $2 million in damages to various nonprofit groups to settle allegations that he and his family used the Trump Foundation to further his political and business interests.


Though Trump admitted the misconduct in court documents, he issued a defiant statement in which he accused New York’s attorney general of mischaracterizing the settlement process for political purposes. Trump claimed he had been attacked by “political hacks in New York State.”

Here’s a closer look at the ruling and the foundation’s legal troubles:

The lawsuit, filed last year by then-New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, outlined a wide array of mismanagement by Trump and his three eldest children.

Chief among them: allowing Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign to orchestrate a televised fundraiser in Des Moines, Iowa, for the foundation, which then distributed $2.8 million to veterans’ charities that were also chosen by the campaign.

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Plane crashes in Texas after slowing down to dump 350 gallons of pink water in gender reveal stunt

A recent plane crash in Texas that resulted in “substantial damage” to the aircraft and at least one injured person was caused by gender reveal stunt gone wrong, officials said in a report Friday.

An Air Tractor AT 602 crashed on Sept. 7 in Turkey, a small city just 90 miles west of the Oklahoma border, after slowing down too much in order to dump out “350 gallows of pink water” as a part of a gender reveal, the National Transportation Safety Board said.


Plane crashes

The pilot reportedly told officials that they were maneuvering at a low altitude when the plane “got too slow,” causing it to aerodynamically stall before crashing.

“The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, right-wing, and empennage,” the NTSB report read.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector also reported that there were two people aboard the single-seat plane.

The pilot sustained minor injuries and the second passenger was unharmed.

A 56-year-old woman in Iowa died last month after getting struck by debris from an explosion at a gender reveal party.

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Police report reveals how ‘Seinfeld’ actor Charles Levin came to gruesome end

Officials said there’s a “high probability” that the remains found in Oregon are those of missing actor Charles Levin.

New details have emerged over the death of Charles Levin, 70, who appeared in television comedies such as “Seinfeld” and “Night Court.”

The actor was found in a remote area of Oregon on July 13 after he had officially been reported missing on July 8 following more than a week of absence.

Reports from Oregon’s Grants Pass Department of Public Safety reveal that Levin got lost on a remote mountain road in his Orange Fiat, which was found in a fallen-tree filled area about four miles off the nearest asphalt road. The pSeinfeld' actor Charles Levinolice report stated that the terrain was so arduous that officers had to walk 1/4 of a mile from their emergency vehicle to get to the final location of the car that had seen the passenger side mirror sheared off.

“I would have never thought the Fiat would have been able to make any progress down this section of the roadway,” the police report stated, noting that the car was finally hopelessly stuck on “mounds of earthen material.”

More: Body of missing actor Charles Levin, 70, may have been found in Oregon.

The area around the front tires “appeared to have been disturbed in an apparent attempt to free the vehicle.”

The car contained the remains of Levin’s beloved pug, Boo-Boo Bear, and the area was filled with “an overwhelming odor of decomposition.”

Searching at night through the thick overgrowth, police found Levin’s naked, badly decomposed remains at the bottom of a treacherously steep ravine.

“There were signs of animal scavenging likely in the form of turkey vultures as there was evidence of bird feces on and around the body,” the report stated.

Officer noted that their ATV leaving the scene “sustained damage from traversing the same road the Fiat was found on.”

Police ruled out foul play and suicide the death. The autopsy report stated the cause of death was “accidental.”

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